How to Navigate Dietary Preferences in a Divided Household

Living in a household where family members have different dietary preferences can be challenging. This issue is particularly tricky for the caregiver who is responsible for meal planning, buying the groceries, and budgeting for the family.

1. Prepare One Meal

Find easily modifiable meals like Mexican dishes (e.g. tacos) then use the buffet method where all components of the meal are placed on the table so family members can choose what they want in their meal. Separate animal products from the plant-based foods if some family members are vegetarian/vegan.

2. Find Common Ground

Communicate! Talk with the family about favourite meals and how these can be suited to all food preferences in the household. For example, pizza can be prepared with vegan cheese and lots of veggies while a second pizza can be prepared the way an omnivore enjoys. Not much extra work for the cook and everybody is happy.

3. Suggest Meatless Monday

This will make life much easier because you will only need to prepare one meal for everyone on this day. Find a vegan dish that meat lovers enjoy and use this meal as the meatless Monday dish. Maybe you will convert the meat eater in the house to becoming more plant-based! Vegan lasagna or spaghetti bolognese are good options.

4. Use Cheap Staples

Cheap pantry food staples are a must. Things like pasta, rice, noodles and potatoes are great bases for both vegan, vegetarian, and meat dishes. Simply add salad/vegetables and plant/animal protein to suit the whole family.